By Annaleise Parsons | Staff Writer
When driving down Speight Avenue last week, I was shocked at the amount of cars lined up at the Hawk’s Hot Chicken Restaurant. I had never heard of Hawk’s and had low expectations for the food. After all, Chick-fil-A and Raising Cane’s seemed to supply all of the chicken nugget and chicken tender demands of Baylor students.
I did decide to give Hawk’s Hot Chicken the same chance for an opportunity to measure up to Chick-fil-A’s and Raising Cane’s standards.
I ordered the No. 2 Hawk’s Chicken Tenders with a lemonade, a heat level of Hawk’s and New York Buffalo sauce. As someone who loves all things spicy, the opportunity to customize the spiciness of my chicken was something I haven’t seen before at a restaurant. Hawk’s also offered a chicken sandwich, a smaller serving of chicken tenders, wings and a deluxe option that includes all three along with a piece of toast. However, the deluxe option comes at a steep price: $13.25 excluding sales tax.
After trying Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and Hawk’s, I can say that Hawk’s beats Raising Cane’s but doesn’t quite beat Chick-fil-A. Raising Cane’s only offers the standard flavor of chicken tender along with only one original sauce. The fries are crinkle-cut and have a similar taste to the frozen fries that come in a big bag at a local grocery store. However, Hawk’s fries are “chicken salt”-flavored, perfectly salty and come with your own choice of one of eight different sauce options.
Chick-fil-A still hold the crown of best chicken in Waco. Chick-fil-A has fried and grilled chicken nuggets, spicy, fried and grilled chicken sandwiches, salads and chicken wraps. With an array of sauces and dressings, Chick-fil-A provides opportunities for a unique order with lots of flavor. Fries are waffle-cut, perfectly salty and come hot. Plus, Chick-fil-A lemonade, while it comes at an extra cost, is the right amount of sweet and tart and comes in a frosted option in both regular lemonade and strawberry lemonade. And Chick-fil-A customer service is top-notch.
In the valiant fight to be the best fried chicken chain in Waco, Chick-fil-A still comes out on top, but Hawk’s comes in as a close second. Raising Cane’s, thanks for coming.